“Essential Information”

That’s a phrase one of the many consultants I’ve worked with over the years loved.

“Begin a story with the words “Essential information” to stress its importance.”

And years later, sometimes I do.   Like now.

Amy Parmenter

For people of a certain age and beyond, I have essential information for you, courtesy of my NBC Connecticut colleague Amy Parmenter.  She has just published in the Huffington Post for a piece she wrote on her blog about health care and her mother.

Please read it.  To borrow a phrase we use far too often on health stories, Amy really does have essential information that could save a life.

Here is the link.


About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
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9 Responses to “Essential Information”

  1. Ted M. says:

    What an amazing story. Thanks for sharing it – as I watch my father struggle to recover from a surgery this summer, it does make me wonder..

  2. Wendy says:

    Thank you for posting this. Everyone ought to read it to become aware of what can happen to anyone of us. Everyone needs an advocate to listen, to take notes, to ask questions for us or suggest ones to be asked, to observe activities, and yes, to intervene, if it seems to be a correct move to make. As a retired nurse, I am acutely aware of the need for advocates ~ a friend, a family member, a person provided by the hospital. Don’t simply accept what you are told. Ask questions and more questions! Ask for explanations and second opinions! Do as Amy did, “express yourself”! Good for Amy! Good for you, Gerry, to bring this to light!

  3. NancyB says:

    WOW – Thank God she spoke up!
    In 1986 my mother went to her longtime doctor complaining about pains. He said “Oh, Betty you’re just getting old”. A few months later she was diagnosed with a brain tumor and was dead 8 weeks later. I guess blacking out a couple of times wasn’t important enough for him.
    Years later when my father required surgery and care, my sisters and I by now much older, tried our hardest to be the best advocates we could for him. It took time but we had practice since he ended up in the hospital at least once a year. I can look back and honestly feel good about how we were able to get what was best for him done. But man you have to remain calm but be forceful.

  4. Li says:

    Thanks Gerry (and Amy). This is important information and it encourages all of us (me, specifically) to be proactive in the care of our older family members.

  5. Ed from CT says:

    Wow- great post, Gerry! Thanks for sharing.
    My mom was a fantastic advocate for my dad when he was seriously ill many years ago. See, she knew doctors could make mistakes so she monitored all his meds carefully with what was supposed to be given to him and, on more than one occasion, she found the wrong meds were about to be administered- until she intervened. Good thing she checked!
    Oh, how did she know doctors could make mistakes? She was the office manager for a very prominent, successful office… of surgeons.
    A word to the wise, right?

  6. Tom says:

    Gerry – Great Post, ESSENTIAL NEWS! As parents for a disabled non-verbal child we have had no choice but to be her advocate for 35 years now. It is not easy and too often even the squeaky wheel can be ignored in the healthcare (and even more importantly in the State) bureaucracy. I hope that this type of message about being the advocate for your loved ones would make not only this (and Amy’s) type of blog, but also be put out in the “main stream” media in bold headlines!!!

  7. Thank You Gerry! I think the comments really speak to the prevalence of this problem. I especially take note of comments from people like Wendy, a retired nurse, and Ed, whose mom was the office manager for surgeons. Mistake happen. But the biggest mistake is not speaking up and insisting someone give you or your loved on the attention and CARE they deserve.

    And, with all due respect to NancyB, if you cannot be heard when you are calm, then by all means lose it! Sadly, sometimes that is what it takes.

    Thanks for all your comments.


  8. Gerry says:

    Thank you Amy, for sharing your story. And thank all of you for your personal stories and comments.

  9. Cat says:

    She nailed it….
    Kudos to Amy.

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